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Atlantic Ocean

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A Journey by Blue Marine Foundation

Protecting the Underwater World

We use audio to enhance your experience. Areas of ocean safe from human impact

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the ocean limit human activities that damage wildlife - just like nature reserves do on land.

Protecting entire ecosystems and diverse marine life can help the ocean withstand the impacts of climate change.

How do marine protected areas work?

There are different types of MPAs, from marine parks to ‘no-take’ zones . They have defined geographic boundaries, but no physical barriers. Activities like fishing can be limited or prohibited. These areas protect marine wildlife and their habitats.

Over 90% of Earth’s space for life is found in the ocean.

30%
2.7%
Drag to the top to increase the amount of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)
30%

Our oceans need protecting

Today only 2.7% of our ocean is highly protected, with 92% unprotected and at risk from over-exploitation and destructive fishing.

Protecting at least 30% by 2030 will increase the ocean’s resilience to climate change and overfishing.

Our oceans need protecting

Today only 2.7% of our ocean is highly protected, with 92% unprotected and at risk from over-exploitation and destructive fishing.

Mobula birostris

Manta Rays

Status: vulnerable

Gentle giants at risk from climate change. Manta rays’ main source of food is microscopic plankton, consumed as they swim. Changes in ocean temperature can alter planktonic life cycles and distribution, making the manta rays vulnerable.

Marine protected areas mean lots more fish in the sea.

Aquatic life is vital to the health of the ocean

Healthy marine populations in protected areas help entire ecosystems be more resilient.

A healthy ocean, full of rapidly reproducing marine life, helps ecosystems withstand and adapt to the effects of a changing climate. It captures carbon dioxide and produces vast amounts of oxygen.

MPA
MPA

Rhincodon typus

Whale Sharks

Status: endangered

The largest fish in the world - adults are about 10m long; often victims of by-catch from commercial fishing and vessel strikes. Every year whale sharks migrate to the remote South Atlantic island of St Helena, probably to give birth, a protected area that BLUE works hard to maintain.

Fish are crucially important; they eat carbon in the form of phytoplankton at the surface and then poop it down into the deep sea where it can be locked away.
Vast areas of open ocean are the ‘engine of life’ that keep the whole planet habitable.
Overfishing exacerbates our climate emergency.

Megaptera novaeangliae

Humpback Whales

Status: least concern

Humpback whales can be found around the world, migrating thousands of kilometres to reach feeding and breeding grounds. They can grow to lengths of over 16m!

Some whales dive to great depths to feed. Returning to the surface, their poop feeds tiny marine plants (phytoplankton) that produce around 50% of Earth’s oxygen.

See if you can get this one right...

How much of the excess heat trapped on earth by greenhouse gases does the ocean capture?

Blue Marine Foundation is working to

Revive Ocean Life

Marine ecosystems around the world are in desperate need of protection. The 14 UK Overseas Territories hold 94% of the UK’s biodiversity, but need strong protection from excessive or illegal fishing. BLUE has helped establish large marine reserves around Ascension Island, St Helena and Tristan da Cunha.

Project Spotlight

Take a journey to St Helena to understand how BLUE is protecting vital marine biodiversity, increasing ocean literacy and improving local fisheries in this incredible UK Overseas Territory.

What can I do?

Protect 30% of the ocean by 2030

Improve your ocean literacy (see our free resources)

Respect marine life while swimming and diving

Rainforests
of the Sea

Dive In

The Ocean's
Web of Life

Dive In

Fish and other marine life shuttle carbon from the ocean surface into the deep sea.

Without this ‘biological carbon pump’, we would have up to 50% more CO2 in our atmosphere.

See if you can get this one right...

What percentage of the ocean is classified as highly protected?